Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Frequently Asked Questions

This page will be updated with further information as it is released by the Government. To access the latest Government guidelines, go to GOV.UK/coronavirus.

WHAT ALERT LEVEL IS ROTHERHAM CURRENTLY IN?

Rotherham and other areas across South Yorkshire are now under National Lockdown restrictions.

This means you must stay at home, except in certain circumstances.

Find out more about the restrictions

Find out which council services are affected

When will I be able to get my COVID-19 vaccine?

The COVID-19 vaccine is currently being rolled out to high priority groups.

Please do not contact your local GP or the NHS to ask when you can have your vaccine. You will be contacted when it is your turn.

Further information from Rotherham CCG about the vaccine

INFORMATION ON THE CURRENT NATIONAL LOCKDOWN RESTRICTIONS:

Please note: this page will be regularly updated with the latest guidance.

When can I leave my house?

There are some circumstances where you can leave your house, however, you should try to limit these where possible.

  • shop for basic necessities such as food, medicine and other essentials, for you or a vulnerable person
  • go to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home
  • exercise with your household or support bubble, or one other person, this should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area
  • meet your support bubble or childcare bubble where necessary
  • seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse)
  • attend education or childcare

CAN I GO TO WORK?

Everyone who can work effectively from home must do so. Where people cannot do so (for instance people who work in critical national infrastructure, construction or manufacturing) they should continue to travel to work/attend their workplace. This is essential to keeping the country operating and supporting vital sectors and employers.

Public sector employees working in essential services, such as care homes, should continue to go into work. The risk of transmission can be substantially reduced if COVID-secure guidelines are followed closely.

Extra consideration should be given to those people at higher risk.

CAN I MEET MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS?

You cannot meet other people indoors unless you live with them, or they are part of your support bubble.

You can exercise or visit outdoor public places with the people you live with, your support bubble, or one other people from outside your household. You must follow social distancing guidelines when meeting others from outside your household or support bubble.

You cannot meet in a private garden.

WHAT IS A SUPPORT BUBBLE?

support bubble is where one household, which falls into one of the categories below, joins with another household.

To create a support bubble, you must fall within one of the following categories:

  • You live by yourself
  • You are aged 16 living on your own or with other children and no adults
  • You are the only adult and have one or more children who are under the age of 18
  • You live with a partner and have a child who is under the age of one
  • Your child is under the age of five and who has a disability and requires continuous care
  • You or someone you live with has a disability and requires continuous care, on their own or together with:
    • One individual who does not have a disability, or
    • More than one such individual but including no more than one adult aged 18 or over.

If you fall within one of the above categories, you can link with one other household of any size.

Households in that support bubble can still visit each other, stay overnight and visit outdoor public places together.

I LIVE ON MY OWN. WHAT SUPPORT IS AVAILABLE TO ME?

If you need support with getting medication, food parcels, walking your dogs, or need someone to talk to, you can request support from the Rotherham Community Hub.

Fill out a request support form

What support is available for MENTAL HEALTH?

It is important that you look after your mental health while in Lockdown. There are many services which can support you with your mental health and offer advice if you are concerned about friends or family.

The Every Mind Matters website for advice and practical steps that you can take to support your wellbeing and manage your mental health during this pandemic.

Go to Every Mind Matters 

Mind also offer a range of support and guidance for those struggling with their mental health including everyday tips, information for young people, and helping someone else.

Go to the Mind website

Further information about local services at Rotherham and Barnsley Mind

If you or someone you care for are experiencing a mental health crisis, the NHS has a range of services which can help you.

Further information about mental health services 

I am a Clinically Extremely Vulnerable person. What do I need to do?

If you are clinically extremely vulnerable, you should begin shielding which means you should not attend work, school, college or university. You should limit the time you spend outside your home.

You should only go out for medical appointments, exercise or if it is essential. If you can, try to order shopping online for delivery or ask a relative to do your shopping for you.

Support for picking up prescriptions is available through the Rotherham Community Hub.

Further information about shielding 

If you need additional help to follow this guidance, your local council may be able to help. If you are advised to shield you will be able to register yourself or someone else to:

  • request access to a priority supermarket delivery slot (if you have already got priority supermarket deliveries, you will keep them)
  • tell your council if you need support to follow shielding guidance, especially if you are unable to arrange this yourself or with the help of friends, family or other support networks
  • make sure your details, such as your address, are up to date

You can also get support from the NHS Volunteer Responders who may be able to help you to collect and deliver shopping, medication and other essential supplies. Call 0808 196 3646 between 8am and 8pm, 7 days a week for more information.

Further information about NHS Volunteer Responders 

When registering you will be asked for your NHS number. You can find it on any letter the NHS has sent you, or on a prescription. It is helpful if you register even if you do not have any support needs at this time. You can log in and update your needs if circumstances change at any time.

I live with or I care for a Clinically Extremely Vulnerable person. What do I need to do?

Clinically extremely vulnerable people can still receive informal care at home from people within their support bubble. They can also receive care at home from professional social care and medical professionals.

If you live with a clinically extremely vulnerable person who receives visits from care professionals, please take care when these visits take place – keep two metres distance from the care workers and wear a face covering if you can.

If you become unwell or develop symptoms of COVID 19, you must stay at home and isolate from the clinically extremely vulnerable person. If you need extra support, contact the Rotherham Community hub for advice.

Fill out a request support form

CAN I TRAVEL OUTSIDE OF MY LOCAL AREA?

Under National Lockdown restrictions you must not leave your home unless you have a reasonable excuse (e.g. for work or education purposes). If you need to travel you should stay local - meaning avoiding travelling outside of your village, town or the part of a city where you live - and look to reduce the number of journeys you make overall.

Reasons you can leave your home, may include

  • going to work if you cannot work from home
  • going to school, college or other education
  • visiting your support bubble - or your childcare bubble for childcare
  • visiting hospital, GP and other medical appointments or visits where you have had an accident or are concerned about your health
  • buying goods or services, including essential retail, but these should be within your local area wherever possible
  • outdoor recreation or exercise. This should be done locally wherever possible, but you can travel a short distance within your Tier 4 area to do so if necessary (for example, to access an open space)
  • attending the care and exercise of an animal, or veterinary services

What businesses must close?

Non-essential retail such as clothing and homeware stores must close, however, they can continue to operate click-and-collect (where goods are pre-ordered and collected off the premises) and delivery services.

Close contact services such as hairdressers, barbers, nail salons, beauty salons, and tattoo parlours are not allowed to open. These services should not be provided in other people’s homes.

Restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars must remain closed unless they are providing a takeaway, click and collect or drive-thru service. 

Animal attractions, such as zoos, safari parks, aquariums, and wildlife reserves, must close.

Indoor attractions at venues such as botanical gardens, heritage homes and landmarks must also close, although outdoor grounds of these premises can stay open for outdoor exercise.

See full list of businesses which must close

WHICH BUSINESSES ARE can remain open?

Businesses and venues which can remain open are:

  • essential retail such as food shops, supermarkets, pharmacies, garden centres, building merchants and suppliers of building products and off-licences
  • market stalls selling essential retail may also stay open
  • businesses providing repair services may also stay open
  • petrol stations, automatic (but not manual) car washes, vehicle repair and MOT services, bicycle shops, and taxi and vehicle hire businesses
  • banks, building societies, post offices, short-term loan providers and money transfer businesses
  • funeral directors
  • laundrettes and dry cleaners
  • medical and dental services
  • vets and retailers of products and food for the upkeep and welfare of animals
  • animal rescue centres and boarding facilities
  • animal groomers may continue to be used for animal welfare, rather than aesthetic purposes
  • agricultural supplies shops
  • mobility and disability support shops
  • storage and distribution facilities
  • car parks, public toilets and motorway service areas
  • outdoor playgrounds
  • outdoor parts of botanical gardens and heritage sites for exercise

Please check the GOV.UK website for more details.

Any business that is open must operate in a COVID-secure way to reduce the risk of the spread of the virus.

ARE SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES STILL OPEN?

Primary, secondary and college students will learn remotely through computer classes until February half term.

However, they will remain open for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers.

Early Years settings will remain open.

CAN I STILL ACCESS CHILDCARE?

Parents are able to access registered childcare and other childcare activities (including wraparound care) where reasonably necessary.

All educational settings will be open. Parents are able to form a childcare bubble with another household for the purposes of informal childcare, where the child is 13 or under. As above, some households will also be able to benefit from being in a support bubble.

CAN I VISIT MY CHURCH OR OTHER PLACES OF WORSHIP?

Yes, you can visit a place of worship to attend a service or for private prayer, however you must not mix with anyone from outside your household or support bubble.

You must also follow the guidance on the safe use of places of worship.

There are further restrictions on funerals and weddings.

See Registration and Funeral Services

See Weddings and Civil Partnerships

CAN I ATTEND A FUNERAL?

There are currently restrictions on funeral services:

See Registration and Funeral Services

CAN I ATTEND AN EXERCISE CLASS OR TAKE PART IN TEAM SPORTS? 

All leisure and sports facilities such as leisure centres and indoor gyms, indoor swimming pools, indoor sports courts, indoor fitness and dance studios, indoor riding centres, and indoor climbing walls must close.

Outdoor sports courts, outdoor gyms, golf courses, outdoor swimming pools, archery/driving/shooting ranges and riding arenas must also close.

Organised outdoor sport for disabled people will be allowed.

Further information about sports and physical exercise 

ARE TOILETS OPEN IN THE TOWN CENTRE?

The All Saints Square toilets and Market toilets are open.

ARE HOUSEHOLD WASTE RECYCLING CENTRES STILL OPEN?

Household Waste Recycling Centres at Greasbrough, Bramley, Rawmarsh and North Anston are open between 10am and 4pm Monday to Sunday during winter.

CAN I TAKE MY DOG TO THE DOG GROOMERS?

You may take your dog to the groomer for animal welfare, rather than aesthetic purposes.

WHEN DO I NEED TO WEAR A FACE COVERING?

Face coverings must be worn by customers, passengers and staff in shops, taxis, on public transport and in hospitality venues, except when seated to eat and drink. You could be fined a minimum £200 if you do not wear a face covering on public transport.

Some people cannot wear face coverings for reasons such as medical conditions, learning difficulties or due to a disability. These are not always visible so please try to be understanding.

Children under the age of 14 do not have to wear a face covering and infants under the age of three must not wear a face covering as this could obstruct their airways.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I DO NOT FOLLOW THE NEW RESTRICTIONS?

Rotherham Council and South Yorkshire Police have been granted additional powers to take action against those who break the restrictions.

The police can now ask groups of people to disperse and can issue up to a maximum fine of £6,400 for participating in illegal gatherings. If you hold or are involved in holding an illegal gathering, the police can issue fines of £10,000.

WHAT DO I DO IF I HAVE SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19?

If you start to experience coronavirus symptoms, it is important that you get a tested and self-isolate at home right away. Visit www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or call 119 to book a test.

More information can be found on the GOV.UK website

WHY DO I NEED TO VERIFY MY IDENTITY WHEN ORDERING A HOME TEST KIT? 

Before ordering your home test kit, you need to confirm your identity. The Government website uses a system called TransUnion to verify the details you have already given to help stop the fraudulent use of the test service. The system will check things like the electoral role and any existing credit rating to confirm you are who you say you are.

This search is not a credit check and will not affect your credit score.

WHAT DOES SELF-ISOLATE MEAN?

If you are self-isolating, that means you must not visit family or friends, leave the house (unless going for a test), or go to work. If your child has symptoms, they must not go to school.

If you have tested positive for the virus, you must self-isolate for 10 days and anyone you live with must self-isolate for 10 days and get a test if they develop symptoms.

You also need to self-isolate if you have any symptoms of the virus. You must self-isolate for 10 days and book a test as soon as you can. You can get a test by going online to www.nhs.uk/coronavirus.

If you're told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or have tested positive, you may be eligible for the Government's Test and Trace Payment.

Further information about the payment scheme